youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry, good kids

Leading “Good Kids”

By Doug Franklin October 12, 2010

So much is written about how to motivate and lead the students who are struggling that we lose focus on challenging the students who are growing. It’s really hard for me to say this but, spending time with your students who are growing may have more impact than spending time with students who are struggling. Some may say the calling of the church is for the sick and not the healthy, and I would say there is much truth to that statement. Obviously Jesus spent his time with those who were hurting but you could also argue Jesus spent his time with people who had open hearts, people who were ready to grow and accept challenge. I think we make a huge mistake when we don’t focus any of our time on “good kids.” Yet if we do focus on the good students we have to make sure it’s not because it’s easier than dealing with the tough kids; instead we need to do it because we are able to challenge them. We want them to reach out into their world, to be salt and light make a difference in other students’ lives. Here are a few ideas to challenge students who “get it”:

1. Challenge the good
Help them see what they are good at. Mentor them by explaining how God has gifted them and challenge them to use their gifts for the benefit of their peers. Help them see ways they can serve their fellow students and push them to get out of their comfort zone and into the “trust God” zone.

2. Challenge the distractions
Many “good” students have distractions keeping them from making impact. Help your students see the distractions and the price they are paying every time they give in to the distraction. Call them out and ask them to be accountable for their lack of impact. When students see the price they are paying for their behavior it will make them stop and think.

3. Challenge the dream
Many “good” students are just getting through school. Challenge them to dream about doing something great for God. Challenge them to leave a mark on their school for their God. Push them to be more than present; challenge them to listen to God’s calling and make a difference. Leadership changes everything, but without your students leading, everything stays the same. Ask them what big dream God has for them.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More